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The Lanford Wilson Project

presented by
Open circle play factory

“Truth entertains the heart. Spontaneity entertains the spirit. Ideas entertain the mind.” -Mac McCarty

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The Lanford Wilson Project is budgeted at $58,350k
As of october 5th, we've raised 96% of our goal.

2 days remaining - Thank you for your support!


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Know that you can trust your dollars are being put to worthy use in the categories below.

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Mission Statement

The Lanford Wilson Project was set in motion by Mac McCarty, Co-Artistic Director of the Lanford Wilson Estate. Lanford Wilson’s work questions power while comforting the challenged and challenging the comfortable. Through the work of Lanford Wilson, an outsider and a writer ahead of his time, we are exploring the themes of Disunion (The Mound Builders) and Coming Together (Sympathetic Magic). 


In his time Lanford wrote specifically for the Circle Repertory Theatre of which McCarty was a member.  As with Circle Rep, Open Circle Play Factory has been formed with a knowledge of the Meisner technique which Lanford felt was important for his work. This current company of actors has been trained at the William Esper Studio as was the case with many Circle Rep members in Lanford’s lifetime.

the story

The Lanford Wilson Project is being presented by Open Circle Play Factory. These two plays by Lanford Wilson, The Mound Builders and Sympathetic Magic, will be performed in repertory over a four-week run in NYC, November 2021 at New York City’s iconic Theatre Row on West 42nd St. 

In Part 1 of the Lanford Wilson Project, THE MOUND BUILDERS, we are set around an archeological dig in Southern Illinois, filled with characters both funny and exasperating, we look at themes of ambition, privilege versus aspiration, the dangers of patriarchy, the repression of women and the tragic results that occur when these issues collide in acts of hubris.

In SYMPATHETIC MAGIC, Part 2 of the Lanford Wilson Project, we are with a group of intense and clever San Franciscans, artists, scientists, spiritual searchers and lost souls, who continue to struggle with the themes of Part 1. While dealing with issues of artistic failure, a pandemic, scientific uncertainty, they struggle in their fierce and lively way to overcome tragedy and aspire to overcome the past and rise up.


With so much going on in the World, always it seems, but the last few days, weeks, months, year and a half, … beyond. From Afghanistan, to Ethiopia, Haiti, here in America … the necessity of these themes, Disunion and Coming Together, are self-evident. 


Lanford was a gay man from the Midwest, writing about themes of patriarchy, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, PTSD and other mental illnesses, the trials of marginalized peoples as well as socio-economic inequality. This work is important and we cannot wait to share this both in a theatre setting as well as with the younger generation through free educational events and talkbacks. 


We hope to inspire!



Partner with us in this return to the theatre! Any amount is received with gratitude.

*Your donations through our fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas, are 100% tax deductible.


Every has their own role! If donating is not in the cards for you right now, no problem. There are so many ways you can help. *Like* and Follow us on Instagram and Facebook and share the campaign with your friends on social media.

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We understand these are interesting times in our world with the ever-changing status of Covid and its variations. Please rest assured that your money will be used for the purpose it is intended regardless the timeline. Should Covid prohibit our ability to move forward on production in 2021, Theatre Row will work with us to put the show in a future season.


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